June 4, 2002

Canadian car sales surge in May

Toronto, Ontario – Many automakers in Canada reported sharply higher sales in May – some reporting their best sales months ever.

General Motors of Canada sold 58,162 vehicles in May, an increase of 21.0 per cent from May of 2001. May car sales were 32,045, up 20.0 per cent, and truck sales were 26,117 units, up 22.3 per cent.

An elated GM vice president of sales, service and marketing Marc Comeau, said, “We are just smashing sales records here at GM Canada. We sold more trucks in May than in any other month in our history. We had our best May since 1989. And, we sold more cars in a month than we have since June 1991. At this rate, 2002 could be our best year in the past decade.”

General Motors sales in Canada contrasted sharply with those in the U.S. where May sales decreased 12%.

Ford and Lincoln in Canada sold 27,060 vehicles in May, down 0.9 per cent from the same month last year. Truck sales increased 7.0 per cent to 17,964, but car sales declined 13.6 per cent to 9,096. The bright spot for Ford was the new Explorer which set a May sales record of 2,834 units – a 54.5 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.

DaimlerChrysler Canada reported a 12.3 percent increase in May vehicle sales compared with May, 2001. The company sold 25,604 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. Most of this increase was due to a 19.4 per cent increase in truck sales. Total sales of 107,848 vehicles in the first five months of this year were 5.0 percent higher than the 102,705 cars and trucks sold in the January through May period of 2001.

Toyota Canada has its best-ever May in history with sales of 18,152, surpassing last May’s record sales by 11.2 per cent. It was the best month ever for the Echo with sales of 3,922, 23.5 per cent better than last May. It was also the best month ever for the new Camry with total sales of 3,484, up 60.3 per cent compared to last May.

Nissan Canada also had a record month with sales of 5,849 cars and trucks. Sales of 1599 new Altima sedans were up 135% over May 2001. May marks the eighth consecutive month that the Altima has had record monthly sales.

Subaru Canada’s May sales of 1,580 vehicles was a 5.2 per cent increase, and their best May on record. The Impreza posted all-time record monthly sales of 608.

Hyundai Auto Canada’s May sales of 7,035 sales were up 5% over last May, the first month in over 16 years (April 1986) where Hyundai has exceeded 7,000 vehicle sales.

Volkswagen Canada reported higher Golf, GTI and Cabrio sales, but said sales of the Passat slipped 8.6% due to a “severe shortage” of vehicles. Overall sales figures were not reported.

In the luxury camp, BMW Canada recorded its single best month in history with sales of 1548 units – up 15% over May 2001. Year-to-date results are up 17% over the same period last year. The 3 Series remains BMW’s strongest seller with sales up 18%, while the all new 7 Series sales were up 95% year to date and up 101% over the same month last year.

BMW’s MINI division sold 270 MINIS during the month of May – the MINI was introduced to the Canadian market in March 2002.

Mercedes-Benz reported their best sales month ever with sales of 1506 vehicles, a 41.1% increase over May of 2001. May passenger car sales were up 34.8% and truck sales were up 67.8% over May of last year. Year-to-date sales are 6212 vehicles, up 28.8%.

Lexus also had a record-setting month selling 722 vehicles during May, 20.3 per cent better than May of last year, and 48 units more than the previous record set in April 2001.

Infiniti sold 739 vehicles, the best sales month ever for Infiniti in Canada. Contributing to this were sales of 406 new Infiniti G35 sport sedans.

Porsche also experienced its best May ever with sales of 176 cars, one per cent better than last May. 911 sales were up by 18% but Boxster sales were down more than 15%.

Audi reported an 18.9% increase in sales of the popular A4 but said that TT sales fell slightly. The company didn’t reveal sales figures for its other models.

Connect with Autos.ca